By Antony Spencer
The cream of BVI aquathon gathered on Deadman’s Beach for the final race of the Aquathon Series on picture perfect Peter Island – the Peter Island-Athlon. With new faces mingling with series leaders an upset was on the cards.
As the gun fired Mickey Ennis powered away through crystal waters with Iron Tuff kayaker Clinton Hempel hot on his heels. Current series leaders Antony “Chorpedo” Spencer and Tash Ruscheinski made a more cautious start side by side as the rest of the field strung out behind. Halfway around the course Tash and Chorpedo Spencer reeled in Hempel whilst Ennis maintained a healthy lead. In the short course event 11 year old Sophia Jara with an excellent swim led the field and was first to exit the water closely followed by Nathan Mills and Kim Beradine-Crossman.
As the long coursers reached the finish a tiring Mickey E was caught and passed by the Hempel-Chorpedo -Tash train with the rest of the competitors over 3 minutes behind. A wrong turn in the last few strokes by Hempel opened the door to a grateful Chorpedo who led going into the first run with Ennis just behind whilst in the ladies event Tash started with a big advantage over a returning Cat Ouriach and Kerry dos Santos. The Peter Island run course is both stunning and challenging in equal measure with a flat mile followed by a mile of hills, epic views across the sparkling seas and islands providing rich reward for tough climbs . Whilst most competitors conserved energy on the first run lap, fleet footed Guy Williamson knifed through the field moving from sixth place to first as he hit the water for the second swim leg. A similar story in the ladies field saw Rachel Mayo-Smith move up from last to second with a terrific run, Tash just holding onto the lead.
In the short course event a storming run saw Paul D’Aloiso take the win with Rob Mayo-Smith moving through to second place and Nathan Mills finishing third. In the ladies event Kim Beradine-Crossman took the win, Sophia Jara bravely held onto second whilst Kim’s daughter Zara Beradine-Crossman put in a superb run to finish third with David and Rachel Matthews putting in strong efforts just behind.
In the long course Guy Williamson continued to lead the second swim leg with Chorpedo just behind, then Colm Rafferty who had made his move on the first run, Clinton H, BVI triathlon champion and ironman Dan Mitchell, Adrian Die Hard Dale and Alex Dale (no relation). In the ladies event Tash hammered through the swim attempting to build a cushion over Rachel whilst Kay Reddy, Cat and Kerry were neck and neck for third place. The team event saw a shoot out between local Peter Island team Dillon & Jules against Tash, Dale and triple hammer ironman, the legendary Ray Wearmouth. In the end local knowledge paid off for the Peter Island team as they navigated the course impeccably whilst Ray W finding the hills a little too low for liking took an optional detour to the top of the mountain in true triple grit spirit.
The end of the second swim leg featured another shake up in this most unpredictable race, Guy the Run fading back to fourth but poised to pounce on terra firma, Mickey putting in a fine swim to recover a minute on a waterlogged Chorpedo and exit the water dead level first, Hempel scything through the swim back up to third and Colm Rafferty edging ahead of Dan Mitchell and the Dale boys into fourth. Meanwhile Tash had built up a massive 8 minute lead in the ladies event with the irrepressible Kay Reddy in second just ahead of Cat and Rachel now back in fourth again with Kerry not far behind.
The men’s contest was still wide open, excitable spectators unable to pick the winner from Ennis, Guy the Run, Clinton and the Chorpedo, with Colm and Dan waiting in the wings whilst the Dukes of Dale went mano a mano under the rising Sun. In the ladies race Rachel again proved her running mettle moving swiftly through the field with Kay not far behind as they endeavoured to catch Tash. In the men’s event the pacing book went out the window as everyone gave their all in a final 2 mile dash for glory . Guy swept through the field and soon closed in on the Chorpedo, but with victory in his sights his rapid early progress proved too much and he slipped back to third with a relieved and exhausted Chorpedo hanging on for the win closely followed by a tenacious Mickey E in second with Colm showing good running form for fourth followed by Clinton, Dan, Adrian and Alex. In the ladies event Tash took first with a fine all around effort with Rachel finishing fast for second followed by Kay, Kat and Kerry who all put in outstanding performances.
After the adult races there was excellent u7 and u10’s racing with Luke Spencer just pipping Xavier Morgan in the U7’s and Sam Potgeiter winning the U10s’ from brother Charlie and Sebastien Morgan.
Our thanks to Peter Island Resort for their support and helping put on such a great event with nearly US$ 400 being raised for the Family Support Network Charity. Thanks also to Nellie & Mara for excellent timekeeping including transitions, Richie for organizing the kids events and Alastair Abrehart with his Sopwith Drone for his spectacular event coverage.